TV series punches a Jab in Bee’s life

2015-08-06 06:00

JAB is a gritty, uplifting coming-of-age drama set in the world of competitive boxing, experienced through the eyes of a young black woman from Langa.

Bee Sondlo (19) lives in a working class home with her mother, Gladys, and disabled older brother, Mandla (23).

A low-key loner who tries to live her life honourably despite the financial hardships of life in an area riddled with crime, drugs and gangsterism. Bee’s private dedication to boxing is her only solace. When the threat of losing her home forces her out of her shell, leaving her no other option but to fight for money, she surprises herself and others with the skill and ferocity of her boxing mettle.

Her dramatic success sparks an unlikely journey towards the top in the seedy, dangerous world of professional fighting, where every fight in the ring is matched by her fight to keep her soul intact.

“This is not a story about boxing or winning. It’s about the courage to fight–in life and in the ring.”

JAB is Community Media Trust’s second drama series for SABC 1, Mzansi’s official storyteller. The first was Amaza which broadcast in 2014 and reached 7.5 million viewers.

JAB was originally conceptualised by producer -cum- director Lucilla Blankenberg and screenwriter Paul Ian Johnson in 2008.

Blankenberg trained as a kick-boxer for many years at the local Ottery Youth Centre, which is the main location for the series; she felt that the world of women’s boxing and the diverse and interesting characters it held made for good television. Together the team created a proposal for a 13 part drama series, which finally got picked up by SABC 1 in 2014.

JAB is dedicated to Blankenberg’s late boxing coach, Conference Johnson and the character of the coach in JAB shares the same name as a memorial to the real Conference Johnson. Community Media Trust is making use of the local boxing community in Cape Town and local gyms to give the series authenticity. The shoot commenced in July 2015, and will be broadcast early in 2016

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